Former Chelsea legend Joe Cole has made his boxing debut at the age of 39 in what he described as “one of the biggest buzzes” since retiring from football.
The former England midfielder has recommended the sport as a way of boosting mental health.
Cole has even been dubbed “Joe Colezaghe” on social media after his fight against Max Thraves in Essex.
No clear winner appeared to be announced, but Cole fought well in a contest which consisted of three two-minute rounds.
Cole then took to Instagram to post a message after the fight had taken place.
He said: “Absolutely loved having my first fight, it gave me one of the biggest buzz’s since retiring!
“The respect I had for fighters has gone up so many levels as it takes a special and dedicated man or woman to step into the ring and compete.
“During lockdown I needed a focus and something to challenge me to keep me on top of my mental health and this proved to be the perfect outlet for me.
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“It worked for me, so if anyone is struggling with mental health or just wants a challenge to work towards please give it a go, who knew having a fight can clear the mind.”
Cole retired from football in 2018 after 20 years in the professional game in a career which saw him win three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup.
He began his playing career at West Ham – where he made more than 100 appearances for the club, before moving to Chelsea and then Liverpool.
Cole’s career also saw him spend a season on loan in France from Liverpool, playing for French champions Lille.
The 39-year-old finished his illustrious career in the United States at Tampa Bay Rowdies – who compete in the second tier.
The ex-Chelsea and Liverpool star also achieved 56 caps for his country, scoring 10 goals.
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